Author Topic: want recommendations for small 2 way speakers and powered sub  (Read 6336 times)

Offline Nick B

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Re: want recommendations for small 2 way speakers and powered sub
« Reply #195 on: July 18, 2018, 12:09:51 PM »
Iím not able to cancel the order on the kef speaker stands. I called SVS and Rythmik to discuss subs ....and even dual subs.  Assuming for discussion sake that I really prefer a specific location for each sub being between the audio rack and each kef and slightly in front of the kefs, it appears I might need a mini dsp thing like the guy at Rythmik suggested.

https://www.parts-express.com/minidsp-opendrc-da8-floating-room-correction-dsp-8-out--230-336?utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=pla

So the minisdp dra8 might do the trick plus another $60-80 for a mic. So Iím looking at $500 x 2 + $355 + $80. Of course, Iíd buy used if available. That exceeds what Rick Craig would charge for one dsp sub.
Just wanted opinions about the use of an external dsp device and mic and the learning curve involved
Nick
ICEpower 1200as2 stereo amp
Audio Hungary APR 204 preamp
KEF LS 50 speakers
Border Patrol SE dac
Auralic Aries Mini
Roon & Tidal
Don Sachs phono
Basis Ovation turntable
Graham 1.5 T tonearm
AT-ML150 cartridge
PI Audio Uber
All cables by Gary A

Offline AJ Soundfield

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Re: want recommendations for small 2 way speakers and powered sub
« Reply #196 on: July 18, 2018, 02:13:46 PM »
Assuming for discussion sake that I really prefer a specific location for each sub being between the audio rack and each kef and slightly in front of the kefs, it appears I might need a mini dsp thing like the guy at Rythmik suggested.

So the minisdp dra8 might do the trick plus another $60-80 for a mic. So Iím looking at $500 x 2 + $355 + $80.
What does the $500 represent? If that is cost if you go with a pair of Rythmik L12, that's money well spent. Great subs, I've used Rythmik since '04, so 14yr old subs still going strong.
Where would the dsp slot into system? I do not recommend for anything other than bass, your KEFs are well designed on/off axis and need no "correction". Bass is a totally different story. Some EQ is almost always better. Not a fan of "auto" EQ either, but for some folks it may prove the best option.
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Offline Nick B

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Re: want recommendations for small 2 way speakers and powered sub
« Reply #197 on: July 18, 2018, 02:24:21 PM »
Assuming for discussion sake that I really prefer a specific location for each sub being between the audio rack and each kef and slightly in front of the kefs, it appears I might need a mini dsp thing like the guy at Rythmik suggested.

So the minisdp dra8 might do the trick plus another $60-80 for a mic. So Iím looking at $500 x 2 + $355 + $80.
What does the $500 represent? If that is cost if you go with a pair of Rythmik L12, that's money well spent. Great subs, I've used Rythmik since '04, so 14yr old subs still going strong.
Where would the dsp slot into system? I do not recommend for anything other than bass, your KEFs are well designed on/off axis and need no "correction". Bass is a totally different story. Some EQ is almost always better. Not a fan of "auto" EQ either, but for some folks it may prove the best option.

AJ,
The SVS SB 1000 and Rythmik L12 are a little over $500 each. The only call Iíve made so far re the mini dsp is to Parts Express and the guy said to run both the subs and the LS 50s into the unit.
Nick
ICEpower 1200as2 stereo amp
Audio Hungary APR 204 preamp
KEF LS 50 speakers
Border Patrol SE dac
Auralic Aries Mini
Roon & Tidal
Don Sachs phono
Basis Ovation turntable
Graham 1.5 T tonearm
AT-ML150 cartridge
PI Audio Uber
All cables by Gary A

Offline doug s.

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Re: want recommendations for small 2 way speakers and powered sub
« Reply #198 on: July 18, 2018, 03:44:57 PM »
Iím not able to cancel the order on the kef speaker stands. I called SVS and Rythmik to discuss subs ....and even dual subs.  Assuming for discussion sake that I really prefer a specific location for each sub being between the audio rack and each kef and slightly in front of the kefs, it appears I might need a mini dsp thing like the guy at Rythmik suggested.

https://www.parts-express.com/minidsp-opendrc-da8-floating-room-correction-dsp-8-out--230-336?utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=pla

So the minisdp dra8 might do the trick plus another $60-80 for a mic. So Iím looking at $500 x 2 + $355 + $80. Of course, Iíd buy used if available. That exceeds what Rick Craig would charge for one dsp sub.
Just wanted opinions about the use of an external dsp device and mic and the learning curve involved
Nick
hi nick,

assuming for discussion sake, that you would go w/a pair of subs placed as described - symmetrical, except the subs in a plane a bit forward of the kef's, i would recommend purchasing something like the mini-dsp only if you have a minimum 30 day trial period.  i say this because, in your situation, the improvements may not be worth it.  your placement sounds pretty decent, even if the subs would be a bit closer to the listening position than the kef's.

regarding learning curve, i am not familiar w/that particular product, but i can tell you that the deqx i own is not the most user friendly.  and, i did look at the minidsp a while back, thinking it might be more user-friendly, but my impressions were that it's not the case.  others who have direct experience w/it might want to chime in. 

and that particular unit looks to be digital input only?  how would you place it between your preamp and speakers/subs?  or would you only be running the subs thru it, and you'd be running the kef's full range?  while aj may be right about the kef's not really needing eq, if you're going to use an outboard box, you might want to consider something that allows you to actively cross over the amp that is driving the kef's  i think you'd find they (and their amp) to sound better if they don't have to see any frequencies below 60-80hz.  dbx makes some nice dsp crossovers, and you wouldn't have to eq the kef's if you didn't want to.  or, if you're really worried about phasing, just slide the subs back to the wall to be in line w/the kef's and minimize phase differences, and use something like a marchand x-over - high quality for the cost.  i'm using one now, because it sounds great, and i am too lazy to reprogram my deqx in my new space.  it's really not the most fun thing to do...

doug s.

Offline Nick B

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Re: want recommendations for small 2 way speakers and powered sub
« Reply #199 on: July 18, 2018, 04:06:08 PM »
Iím not able to cancel the order on the kef speaker stands. I called SVS and Rythmik to discuss subs ....and even dual subs.  Assuming for discussion sake that I really prefer a specific location for each sub being between the audio rack and each kef and slightly in front of the kefs, it appears I might need a mini dsp thing like the guy at Rythmik suggested.

https://www.parts-express.com/minidsp-opendrc-da8-floating-room-correction-dsp-8-out--230-336?utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=pla

So the minisdp dra8 might do the trick plus another $60-80 for a mic. So Iím looking at $500 x 2 + $355 + $80. Of course, Iíd buy used if available. That exceeds what Rick Craig would charge for one dsp sub.
Just wanted opinions about the use of an external dsp device and mic and the learning curve involved
Nick
hi nick,

assuming for discussion sake, that you would go w/a pair of subs placed as described - symmetrical, except the subs in a plane a bit forward of the kef's, i would recommend purchasing something like the mini-dsp only if you have a minimum 30 day trial period.  i say this because, in your situation, the improvements may not be worth it.  your placement sounds pretty decent, even if the subs would be a bit closer to the listening position than the kef's.

regarding learning curve, i am not familiar w/that particular product, but i can tell you that the deqx i own is not the most user friendly.  and, i did look at the minidsp a while back, thinking it might be more user-friendly, but my impressions were that it's not the case.  others who have direct experience w/it might want to chime in. 

and that particular unit looks to be digital input only?  how would you place it between your preamp and speakers/subs?  or would you only be running the subs thru it, and you'd be running the kef's full range?  while aj may be right about the kef's not really needing eq, if you're going to use an outboard box, you might want to consider something that allows you to actively cross over the amp that is driving the kef's  i think you'd find they (and their amp) to sound better if they don't have to see any frequencies below 60-80hz.  dbx makes some nice dsp crossovers, and you wouldn't have to eq the kef's if you didn't want to.  or, if you're really worried about phasing, just slide the subs back to the wall to be in line w/the kef's and minimize phase differences, and use something like a marchand x-over - high quality for the cost.  i'm using one now, because it sounds great, and i am too lazy to reprogram my deqx in my new space.  it's really not the most fun thing to do...

doug s.

Hi Doug,
The dual subs placement slightly forward of the kefs gives me a little wiggle room in case I go vinyl again and may need a bit of extra room for the TT. Otherwise, Iíd be able to time align them with the kefs. I like the kefs as is and donít see a need to make corrections for room anomalies, but heck, I donít know enough right now. My thoughts would be just to subject the subs to dsp.
This does add up to some extra 💰 re the dsp thing and I find it quite annoying that this audio hobby costs me more than I want to spend 😳
Iím looking at a fair amount of YouTube videos on subs and some guys like Paul McGowan are easy to understand. I wouldnít look forward to learning all about dsp software and having to take multiple measurements etc
Nick
ICEpower 1200as2 stereo amp
Audio Hungary APR 204 preamp
KEF LS 50 speakers
Border Patrol SE dac
Auralic Aries Mini
Roon & Tidal
Don Sachs phono
Basis Ovation turntable
Graham 1.5 T tonearm
AT-ML150 cartridge
PI Audio Uber
All cables by Gary A

Offline doug s.

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Re: want recommendations for small 2 way speakers and powered sub
« Reply #200 on: July 18, 2018, 04:28:33 PM »
Hi Doug,
The dual subs placement slightly forward of the kefs gives me a little wiggle room in case I go vinyl again and may need a bit of extra room for the TT. Otherwise, Iíd be able to time align them with the kefs. I like the kefs as is and donít see a need to make corrections for room anomalies, but heck, I donít know enough right now. My thoughts would be just to subject the subs to dsp.
This does add up to some extra 💰 re the dsp thing and I find it quite annoying that this audio hobby costs me more than I want to spend 😳
Iím looking at a fair amount of YouTube videos on subs and some guys like Paul McGowan are easy to understand. I wouldnít look forward to learning all about dsp software and having to take multiple measurements etc
Nick
nick, i know you don't want to take a loss on stands you just bought, but if you sell them, so you can place the kef's directly on the subs, you won't need any time alignment and you won't need any dsp for that.  it might end up being cheaper.

for me, the best bang-for-buck if you're going for a pair of subs would be to remove all frequencies below ~80hz from the kef's and the amp driving them.  ask aj about his speakers w/built-in powered subs, and how they relieve the rest of the speaker and the amp driving it, from seeing the lower frequencies...  and ask charles about the rethm's, w/their active subwoofer built-in, and how it relieves the horn and horn's amp from seeing the lower frequencies.  ;)

when i first went to subs, w/an active outboard x-over, my main speakers were thiel 3.5's, which are -2db at 20hz.  well, besides getting better bass, the upper bass and lower midrange were also improved, w/the thiels and their amp being crossed over at 70hz.

doug s.

Offline AJ Soundfield

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Re: want recommendations for small 2 way speakers and powered sub
« Reply #201 on: July 18, 2018, 06:21:16 PM »
AJ,
The SVS SB 1000 and Rythmik L12 are a little over $500 each. The only call Iíve made so far re the mini dsp is to Parts Express and the guy said to run both the subs and the LS 50s into the unit.
Nick
Ok, for the same price I'd go with the Rythmik, but the SVS is no slouch. Your call. Rythmik goes deeper with more wallop, but you said you don't listen to classical/pipe organs stuff, so may be moot. Your back might prefer the SVS over the 2x weight Rythmik (bigger motor and linear PS vs switch mode). Don't worry about subs forward of KEFs. That's not how phase alignment works. The DSP can create a small delay to align, but the low pass filter itself is already doing that, so may be moot.
I'm not clear on your system architecture (preamp???) so where does the Minidsp slot? If you run LP, you ok with digitizing? Nothing wrong if DAC is transparent, but some folks balk at that.
If you have a dual out preamp, that opens a lot of possibilities. You could keep all as is, use 2nd output for DSP/bass only. Avoid any further DSP for the KEFs.
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Offline Nick B

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Re: want recommendations for small 2 way speakers and powered sub
« Reply #202 on: July 18, 2018, 09:18:05 PM »
Hi Doug,
The dual subs placement slightly forward of the kefs gives me a little wiggle room in case I go vinyl again and may need a bit of extra room for the TT. Otherwise, Iíd be able to time align them with the kefs. I like the kefs as is and donít see a need to make corrections for room anomalies, but heck, I donít know enough right now. My thoughts would be just to subject the subs to dsp.
This does add up to some extra 💰 re the dsp thing and I find it quite annoying that this audio hobby costs me more than I want to spend 😳
Iím looking at a fair amount of YouTube videos on subs and some guys like Paul McGowan are easy to understand. I wouldnít look forward to learning all about dsp software and having to take multiple measurements etc
Nick
nick, i know you don't want to take a loss on stands you just bought, but if you sell them, so you can place the kef's directly on the subs, you won't need any time alignment and you won't need any dsp for that.  it might end up being cheaper.

for me, the best bang-for-buck if you're going for a pair of subs would be to remove all frequencies below ~80hz from the kef's and the amp driving them.  ask aj about his speakers w/built-in powered subs, and how they relieve the rest of the speaker and the amp driving it, from seeing the lower frequencies...  and ask charles about the rethm's, w/their active subwoofer built-in, and how it relieves the horn and horn's amp from seeing the lower frequencies.  ;)

when i first went to subs, w/an active outboard x-over, my main speakers were thiel 3.5's, which are -2db at 20hz.  well, besides getting better bass, the upper bass and lower midrange were also improved, w/the thiels and their amp being crossed over at 70hz.

doug s.

Doug,
I do expect very good things from adding a sub(s). Iím still liking the kefs even though I havenít dialed them in completely and the new laminate floor doesnít have an area rug yet. Iíd like to keep things simple for sure. The stands are sitting in Vegas at the dealerís place, so itís doable.
Nick
ICEpower 1200as2 stereo amp
Audio Hungary APR 204 preamp
KEF LS 50 speakers
Border Patrol SE dac
Auralic Aries Mini
Roon & Tidal
Don Sachs phono
Basis Ovation turntable
Graham 1.5 T tonearm
AT-ML150 cartridge
PI Audio Uber
All cables by Gary A

Offline Nick B

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Re: want recommendations for small 2 way speakers and powered sub
« Reply #203 on: July 18, 2018, 09:34:18 PM »
AJ,
The SVS SB 1000 and Rythmik L12 are a little over $500 each. The only call Iíve made so far re the mini dsp is to Parts Express and the guy said to run both the subs and the LS 50s into the unit.
Nick
Ok, for the same price I'd go with the Rythmik, but the SVS is no slouch. Your call. Rythmik goes deeper with more wallop, but you said you don't listen to classical/pipe organs stuff, so may be moot. Your back might prefer the SVS over the 2x weight Rythmik (bigger motor and linear PS vs switch mode). Don't worry about subs forward of KEFs. That's not how phase alignment works. The DSP can create a small delay to align, but the low pass filter itself is already doing that, so may be moot.
I'm not clear on your system architecture (preamp???) so where does the Minidsp slot? If you run LP, you ok with digitizing? Nothing wrong if DAC is transparent, but some folks balk at that.
If you have a dual out preamp, that opens a lot of possibilities. You could keep all as is, use 2nd output for DSP/bass only. Avoid any further DSP for the KEFs.

AJ,
I just recently got rid of my heavy SP Tech speakers and the heavy McCormack amp, so adding those rythmiks isnít super appealing. The preamp is through Charles.  Itís the Audio Hungary APR 204 tube preamp and it only has one set of outs.
http://audiohungary.com/product/apr-204/16
Charles says itís an excellent preamp, especially for the money. I looked at pres from Cary, K & K, Herron, Allnic and others and just decided to take a chance on this one. My system performs quite well as is and I got a nice discount from Charles.
The minidsp is an inexpensive option and maybe just getting one or two subs to start and see how I can integrate them is the easy way to start. As to playing LPs, itís a long shot that I will get back into analog.
Nick
ICEpower 1200as2 stereo amp
Audio Hungary APR 204 preamp
KEF LS 50 speakers
Border Patrol SE dac
Auralic Aries Mini
Roon & Tidal
Don Sachs phono
Basis Ovation turntable
Graham 1.5 T tonearm
AT-ML150 cartridge
PI Audio Uber
All cables by Gary A

Offline AJ Soundfield

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Re: want recommendations for small 2 way speakers and powered sub
« Reply #204 on: July 19, 2018, 06:56:53 AM »
Ok, sorry, I was going by your equipment list in signature. Well, if you don't mind a little smell of glue, you could get a pair of these:
https://www.parts-express.com/powered-dayton-audio-8-250-watt-compact-subwoofer-kit-with-built-in-dsp--300-7150
For $600 you would have a pair of very small, relatively light, but very potent little subs, including all DSP needed, high pass for your KEFs and plenty EQ.
You can always get a Umik https://www.parts-express.com/minidsp-umik-1-omni-directional-usb-measurement-calibrated-microphone--230-332 and REW for measurements. Plenty of online tutorials, easy setup, < $100.
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Offline Nick B

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Re: want recommendations for small 2 way speakers and powered sub
« Reply #205 on: July 19, 2018, 05:33:59 PM »
I called Rythmik again today and was lucky enough to talk to the owner, Brian Deng. Very nice guy. I asked about stacking the kefs on the Rythmiks using the isoacoustic stands and mentioned that the couch would somewhat block the left sub. He was somewhat concerned and suggested moving the couch back or placing each sub between the rack and each kef. He also said to test initially without using the iso stands on the sub. Iíd think that would be too low, but didnít discuss it further. He also said a symmetrical setup was not necessary and might not be best.
When I mentioned that 58 lbs is a bit heavy for me, he said itís a typo and the weight is 47. Thatís better 👍 There is a bit of a discount to buy two subs and I might take the plunge. The connections are line only and Iíd need a y splitter. Brian said heíd help with connections and adjustments. Iíd post a pic, but canít lower the resolution on my iPhone
ICEpower 1200as2 stereo amp
Audio Hungary APR 204 preamp
KEF LS 50 speakers
Border Patrol SE dac
Auralic Aries Mini
Roon & Tidal
Don Sachs phono
Basis Ovation turntable
Graham 1.5 T tonearm
AT-ML150 cartridge
PI Audio Uber
All cables by Gary A

Offline AJ Soundfield

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Re: want recommendations for small 2 way speakers and powered sub
« Reply #206 on: July 20, 2018, 03:54:08 AM »
Nick you're all over the place man.  :D
Ok, so the KEF/B&W? stands are out and you would consider 47lbs ok?
Yes Brian Ding is cool and a very sharp guy (PhD EE, not some hack fiddling about with electronic circuits and imagining hearing stuff), he speaks my language..and knoweth what he speaks. Can't beat those L12s bang for buck and they are relatively small. So it you put short stands atop them to KEFs you'll be fine.
Wasn't aware you're not averse to y-cables (some audiophile believers freak out about simple stuff like that). That will work. The cables will act as a voltage divider, but your amp is way more power than KEFs need, so the slight drop in gain will be moot. Only potential issue is ground loops, but not inevitable. Both power supplies are well designed. If you go that route, you can avoid going through the dsp with your main amp/KEF, feed the "sub" Y out to dsp>sub. A plain ol Mindsp2x4 ($100) will be plenty there. You can high pass the KEF using an inline Fmod at say 100hz.

cheers,

AJ
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Offline Nick B

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Re: want recommendations for small 2 way speakers and powered sub
« Reply #207 on: July 20, 2018, 04:37:17 AM »
Nick you're all over the place man.  :D
Ok, so the KEF/B&W? stands are out and you would consider 47lbs ok?
Yes Brian Ding is cool and a very sharp guy (PhD EE, not some hack fiddling about with electronic circuits and imagining hearing stuff), he speaks my language..and knoweth what he speaks. Can't beat those L12s bang for buck and they are relatively small. So it you put short stands atop them to KEFs you'll be fine.
Wasn't aware you're not averse to y-cables (some audiophile believers freak out about simple stuff like that). That will work. The cables will act as a voltage divider, but your amp is way more power than KEFs need, so the slight drop in gain will be moot. Only potential issue is ground loops, but not inevitable. Both power supplies are well designed. If you go that route, you can avoid going through the dsp with your main amp/KEF, feed the "sub" Y out to dsp>sub. A plain ol Mindsp2x4 ($100) will be plenty there. You can high pass the KEF using an inline Fmod at say 100hz.

cheers,

AJ

AJ,
Yes, agree somewhat with you. Lots of opinions and information to assimilate  8-[ Heck, it took me quite a while to make a decision on speakers and those little LS 50s worked out great. 47 lbs is still more than Iíd like, but better than 58 lbs.....
As to y splitters, Iím ok doing that, but would much prefer a connection like the speakons that REL and Sumiko use. SVS has speaker terminals and thatís still preferable to y splitters, but canít have everything.....
As to a device like the minidsp, that would be ok with me.
When you combine wife + budget + space limitations, itís never an easy process
Nick

« Last Edit: July 20, 2018, 04:39:24 AM by Nick B »
ICEpower 1200as2 stereo amp
Audio Hungary APR 204 preamp
KEF LS 50 speakers
Border Patrol SE dac
Auralic Aries Mini
Roon & Tidal
Don Sachs phono
Basis Ovation turntable
Graham 1.5 T tonearm
AT-ML150 cartridge
PI Audio Uber
All cables by Gary A

Offline AJ Soundfield

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Re: want recommendations for small 2 way speakers and powered sub
« Reply #208 on: July 22, 2018, 04:52:04 AM »
47 lbs is still more than Iíd like, but better than 58 lbs.....
Sure, but once you plop them in the one spot on either side of rack you want them, there is no need to move again. Placing them under KEFs will make integration easy, any resulting peaks at the LP can be easily addressed with the dsp. You can really tailor the bass sound from your seat that way. If you opt for the Minidsp2x4HD, there is a remote option, where you can use the 4 presets to have different levels/eq of bass. One for lower level listening, rocking out, etc.

As to y splitters, Iím ok doing that, but would much prefer a connection like the speakons that REL and Sumiko use. SVS has speaker terminals and thatís still preferable to y splitters, but canít have everything.....
I'd respectfully disagree. I'd find a Y superior to using the built in speaker level high pass on any sub, because that is going to involve a large value electrolytic cap, regardless of bling brand name. It also keeps the DSP on a separate pass from your main amp. Your mains will all the flavors you have chosen with DAC, pre, etc. just like now. The dsp box will be inline only with subs. MMV.

cheers,

AJ
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Offline Nick B

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Re: want recommendations for small 2 way speakers and powered sub
« Reply #209 on: July 22, 2018, 07:07:10 AM »
47 lbs is still more than Iíd like, but better than 58 lbs.....
Sure, but once you plop them in the one spot on either side of rack you want them, there is no need to move again. Placing them under KEFs will make integration easy, any resulting peaks at the LP can be easily addressed with the dsp. You can really tailor the bass sound from your seat that way. If you opt for the Minidsp2x4HD, there is a remote option, where you can use the 4 presets to have different levels/eq of bass. One for lower level listening, rocking out, etc.

As to y splitters, Iím ok doing that, but would much prefer a connection like the speakons that REL and Sumiko use. SVS has speaker terminals and thatís still preferable to y splitters, but canít have everything.....
I'd respectfully disagree. I'd find a Y superior to using the built in speaker level high pass on any sub, because that is going to involve a large value electrolytic cap, regardless of bling brand name. It also keeps the DSP on a separate pass from your main amp. Your mains will all the flavors you have chosen with DAC, pre, etc. just like now. The dsp box will be inline only with subs. MMV.

cheers,

AJ

Iím still deciding on which brand of subs. After some discussion, my wife would prefer to start by simply placing the subs either side of the rack. If that isnít satisfactory, then kefs on top of the subs. Yesterday, I did some reading and looked on YouTube regarding the minidsp. Seems quite an excellent product and at excellent prices.
As to the y splitter, the speakon is simply my preference as to how to make the connection. I wouldnít be qualified as to judge anything else.
ICEpower 1200as2 stereo amp
Audio Hungary APR 204 preamp
KEF LS 50 speakers
Border Patrol SE dac
Auralic Aries Mini
Roon & Tidal
Don Sachs phono
Basis Ovation turntable
Graham 1.5 T tonearm
AT-ML150 cartridge
PI Audio Uber
All cables by Gary A